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The Changing Scenario of Management Education in India
Prof. C. S. Venkataratnam, Member, FICCI Higher Education Committee & Director, IMI, New Delhi
Ms Shobha Mishra,
Joint Director & Team Leader, Education & Health Services Division, FICCI
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path: MBA in Retail Management
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AIMA'S new aptitude test to benefit both recruiters and students

By a staff reporter

New Delhi: The All India Management Association (AIMA) had announced in September this year about the launch of their Management Aptitude and Skills Test (MAST), a screening test for B-school graduates.
The test, to be conducted for the first time on February 20, 2011, will be a tool in assessing the basic skill set of B-school graduates which is required for being successful in the tough world of corporates.

MAST will be computer-based and will be of 150-minutes duration. Students will be tested in various fields such as Management Aptitude, Domain Knowledge involving functional areas of specializations such as Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, International Business, Operations and Information Technology.

The test would also include psychometric and personality evaluation on traits like leadership, stress, decision making, team work, stability, etc. Also tested will be a student's critical thinking, communication skills, cross-functional competence, key personality traits, technological competence etc.

AIMA President Sanjiv Goenka had hailed the test as an innovative model of testing B-school graduates that will be of assistance not only to the recruiters for finding the right talent but also the students as it would help them look for the best possible job opportunities.

MAST may prove to be an efficient solution to problems which are faced by recruiters as well as management graduates during the recruitment procedure. As more and more B-schools emerge in the country, several of these lack in their reach and access to involve big names as recruiters for their students.

As it is necessary for recruiters to evaluate students from a large number of campuses, the recruiting procedure can be quite costly and problematic for companies. A company may have to spend around Rs.1.5 lakh on a single campus visit alone. MAST will prove to be a cost-effective tool for recruiters as it will greatly reduce the money that companies have to spend on campus visits for recruiting candidates.

Along with cutting the cost of recruiting, the test would also allow corporates to know and judge their employees before they are hired. The test may provide them with an opportunity to know the strengths and weaknesses of potential employees well in advance, as a result of which they will be able to recruit those with the right skill sets.

Apart from being of great assistance to recruiters, AIMA has stated that the test will also benefit students by providing them with a large amount of exposure to the Indian job market.

It is being alleged that the test would work for students as an arena where they will be provided with equal chances to present themselves disregarding their geographical locations or what B-School they have passed out from.

Many management pass-outs every year struggle with finding the right job which is suitable and apt for their specific skill set, aptitude as well as interests. The results of the MAST test would comprise of the scores of all students along with detailed information about their traits and skills. AIMA will also upload the resumes of all students who have taken the test, making them available to recruiters registered at the AIMA website.

Several major recruiters that have already shown their support for the test and will be willing to avail its services include Dabur, Metlife India, Camlin Ltd., Deloitte, Nokia, Lenovo, Reliance Industries, TATA Communications, Suzlon, Parle, Hindustan Level Ltd., Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers India, McAfee, JM Financial, Alembic Ltd., Idea Cellular, etc.

Although this new aptitude and skills assessment test by AIMA is being hailed as a savior of sorts for both students and recruiters, making the recruitment process less cumbersome for them, it remains to be seen whether the test fares well in solving the purpose it has been introduced for.